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Native Education

Over the past few years the vast majority of Tribal Community Colleges, Native American studies programs, and American Indian Law Programs have established a presence on the world wide web. America's tribal colleges and universities have been called “under-funded miracles” and “economic lifelines” for U.S. Indian reservations.

There are 32 tribal colleges--all founded to fight high rates of poverty, educational failure and cultural loss. These colleges created the non-profit American Indian College Fund to raise desperately needed scholarship, endowment and operating monies.

About 85 percent of tribal college students live at or below the poverty level. The 32 Tribal Colleges serve a total of about 26,000 students--including non-Indians, who make up an average 15-20 percent of enrollments. The schools are located mostly on poor, isolated Indian reservations and operate in trailers, converted warehouses and abandoned buildings.

A place for Native and American Indian Educators and students alike, Indian Country Today Media Network’s Education Page covers imperative, educational news while strongly promoting positive education developments throughout Indian Country. Updated daily, this page centralizes around dynamic databases of Native American Studies Programs, Scholarships, Educators, Language, Internships, Tribal Colleges, College News, and programs nationwide with special features celebrating Native and American Indian academic achievement known as “Student Spotlight.”

Find out how you can support the tribal colleges and their students.

Tribal Colleges

Native American Studies Programs

Law Schools - Indian Law Clinics

  • The Tribal Codewriting Clinic at William Mitchell College of Law provides free code-writing and revision services for tribal nations. Students in the clinic work in teams of 2 or 3 under the supervision of a full-time Indian law professor to respond to specific requests pertaining to tribal codes (statutes), regulations, court rules, and other documents. Each project is custom-designed for the needs of the tribal nation. Our clinic has a special emphasis on criminal law, but we welcome projects on any subject area. Examples of projects include: Revisions to a tribal domestic violence code to include dating violence; Drafting a new elder abuse code; and Updating tribal criminal laws to be compliant with the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Our philosophy is focused on tribal sovereignty and self-determination. We work on crafting language that reflects a tribal nation's unique needs, strengths, and culture. We will provide you with a final product that is tailored to the needs of your tribe; we do not produce cookie-cutter codes. If you are interested in learning more about the Tribal Development Clinic, please contact Professor Sarah Deer (
  • The Indian Legal Clinic at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law was established in 2004 as a component of the school’s Indian Legal Program. The Clinic seeks to (1) to educate law students using a methodology which involves providing legal services to clients with actual Indian law cases; (2) to provide highly skilled professional legal service to clients on a wide range of Indian and tribal law related matters nationwide, with an emphasis on Arizona tribes; (3) to educate future lawyers so that they are competent to provide for the leadership and legal needs of Indian Country, now and in the future, and to serve the people of Indian communities; and (4) to educate and assist present and future tribal officials and leaders in legal skills required to fully serve their tribal communities. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Indian Legal Clinic, 1100 S. McAllister Ave., PO Box 877906, Tempe, AZ 85287, (480) 727-0420
  • The Center for Indigenous Law, Governance Citizenship at Syracuse University School of Law is a research based law and policy institute focused on Indigenous nations, their development and their interaction with the U.S. and Canadian governments. Syracuse University College of Law, Suite 263 E.I., White Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244 (315) 443-9558
  • The Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas School of Law was founded to prepare a new generation of advocates, particularly American Indians and other Indigenous peoples, for careers representing Indian nations and peoples, and to establish a forum for the research and study of tribal legal and governance issues. Tribal Law and Government Center, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, KS 66045 (785) 864-3925
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act Clinic at the University of Minnesota Law School is a two-semester clinic offered annually since 1996. The ICWA Clinic gives students practical experience in handling family law and juvenile law cases with a special emphasis on the federal Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress in 1978. The ICWA Clinic shares classroom and simulation components with the Child Advocacy Clinic. The casework portion of the clinic consists of cases handled through the Indian Child Welfare Law Center located in Minneapolis. Four students under the supervision of one student director, a faculty advisor and supervising attorneys on staff at the Law Center represent various individuals in family law and juvenile cases in both state court in Minnesota and tribal court. University of Minnesota Law School, Walter F. Mondale Hall, 229-19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612) 625-1000
  • Native American Law Project at the University of North Dakota School of Law is a specialized clinical program which provides legal assistance to the Spirit Lake Tribal Court. In the past, a separate component of the Project has also served as Tribal Prosecutor in criminal and juvenile proceedings on the Spirit Lake Reservation. The Native American Law Project has been funded over the years by a number of grants and stipends from institutes and agencies such as: Legal Services Corporation, Legal Assistance of North Dakota, Inc., the United States Department of Education, Department of Probation & Parole, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. University of North Dakota School of Law, Box 9003, UND, Grand Forks, ND, 58202 (701) 777-2104
  • The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Legal Services Clinic is a partnership between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the University of Tulsa College of Law Boesche Legal Clinic and was established in the fall semester of 2002 as a component of the University of Tulsa Legal Clinic and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Judicial Branch. The partnership was developed in discussions with tribal leaders, tribal councilmen and members of the Judiciary and the Legal Clinic in the fall semester of 2001. Tribal leaders and the tribal District Court Judge had identified several areas of legal service where tribal members were underserved and unrepresented, including certain tribal, state and federal court actions. They found that many Native Americans in Oklahoma, as well as tribes and groups in the area had limited access to legal assistance. Those individuals had no where to turn when certain rights, some guaranteed by treaty, were denied. The goal of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Legal Services Clinic is to provide direct legal representation for these tribal members. University of Tulsa College of Law, 3120 East Fourth Place, Tulsa, OK 74104 (918) 631-2401
  • The Great Lakes Indian Law Center (GLILC) at the University of Wisconsin Law School was established in 1992 under the direction of Professor Richard Monette. Wisconsin has eleven federally recognized Indian tribes within the State’s exterior boundaries, including six bands of Chippewa, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Oneida, Menominee, and Mohican. The GLILC’s main focus is educational, although it has served as a legal resource for area Tribes on a variety of subjects. University of Wisconsin Law School, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706 (608) 262-2240
  • The Native American Law Center is a comprehensive resource center for Indian law specialists, students, tribal organizations and local, state and federal government. Located at the University of Washington School of Law, the Native American Law Center is able to reference experts in every field that UW offers, including the American Indian Studies Center. As part of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law, the Tribal Court Criminal Defense Clinic partners with the Tulalip Tribes to serve as the public defender on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. Generally, tribal members do not have a right to counsel in tribal criminal proceedings, and the Tulalip Tribes sought an innovative way to address this need, resulting in the clinic formation in July 2002. University of Washington School of Law, 1100 NE Campus Parkway,  Seattle, WA 98105 (206) 543-4551
  • The Northwest Indian Law Clinic at the Northwest Justice Project is committed to providing quality legal representation to low income Native clients with specific Indian law related problems. The Clinic is further committed to creating tools for individual Natives and Pro Bono attorneys in order to surmount barriers Indian law nuances present to the service of this largely unrepresented population. The Clinic is committed to providing its students practical experience in the practice of Indian law and real contact with the culture of the people they serve.
  • The Indian Country Environmental Justice Clinic (ICEJ) at Vermont Law School mission is to help law students develop the skills needed to practice in the field of public interest environmental law; and to provide legal assistance to tribal government agencies, and regional and national inter-tribal organizations dealing with issues affecting the natural and cultural environments of Indian communities. Vermont Law School, P.O. Box 96 Chelsea Street, South Royalton, VT 05068
  • In the Southwest Indian Law Clinic (SILC) at University of New Mexico School of Law, student attorneys represent Native clients in state, federal, and tribal courts and in governmental agency hearings. Student also have the opportunity to work with tribes, pueblos, and organizations serving the Native American community. University of New Mexico School of Law, MSC11 6070, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (505) 277-2146
  • The Indian Law Clinic at the University of Montana-Missoula - School of Law is designed to provided students with practical experience regarding Indian law issues. It is an in-house clinical program focusing primarily on issues and problems affecting tribal governments and justice systems located in Montana and Wyoming. The Indian Law Clinic provides legal research and technical assistance on Indian law issues to a variety of individuals and entities. The University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, MT 59812 (406) 243-4311
  • The Indian Law Clinic of the University of Colorado School of Law was established in 1992 as a component of the school's clinical education program. The Indian Law Clinic provides quality legal representation to low income Native clients with specific Indian law related problems. Cases are handled by student attorneys under the supervision of a licensed attorney, the Director. Intended to provide students with hands-on experience regarding Indian law issues, the Indian Law Clinic focuses primarily on cases or projects located in Colorado that have a uniquely Indian law dimension. University of Colorado School of Law, Fleming Law Building, 401 UCB Kittredge Loop Road, Boulder, CO 80309 (303) 492-7203
  • The mission of Native Nations Law and Policy Center at UCLA School of Law is to support Native nations throughout the United States, with a special focus on California tribes, in developing their systems of governance and in addressing critical public policy issues and to apply the resources of state-supported education together with tribal expertise to address contemporary educational needs for southern California Tribes. The NNLPC includes the following programs and projects: Research and Publications; Tribal Legal Development Clinic; Instructional and Training (Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange) University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, Box 951476, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • The University of Arizona College of Law's Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Clinic under the auspices of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program provides domestic and international legal assistance to the indigenous peoples of the world. To that end, the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Clinic has established a court appointed guardian-ad-litem program for the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation which involves the representation of abused and neglected children before their tribal courts in dependency proceedings. University of Arizona College of Law, P.O. Box 210176, Tucson, AZ 85721 (520) 621-1373

The National Native American Law Students Association was founded in 1970 to promote the study of federal Indian law and to support Native American students in law school. NNALSA strives to reach out to Native communities and encourage Native People to pursue legal education and to educate the legal community about Native issues.

Native American Colleges and Schools in Canada

Native American Studies and Related Programs at Other School in Canada


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